Spring 2016 Has Seen Big Sales Increases Despite A Wet April and Early May

Karli and Carol at Petitti customers shopping at a garden centerWhen spring hit early this year for much of the country, garden retailers’ joy at sales starting early were tempered by not knowing what would happen later in the season.

Sure enough, part way into April, the weather pattern meteorologists are labeling the “omega block” set in, bringing cool, wet conditions to just about every major metropolitan area in the U.S. Major floods in the South resulted, and the weather pattern is being blamed for the huge wild fire in Fort McMurray in Canada.

But for most, sales continued to be strong, even when weather slowed things down. It was unexpected, and a relief. Financial consultant Steve Bailey, who tracks The Garden Center Group’s member’s sales and inventory reports, says revenues are up 19.5% year-to-date versus last year.

It should be noted, however, that where the rain was heaviest — the Deep South, and Texas — sales were down and business suffered.

We sent out a note to retailers across the country to see how thing’s were going for them. Here’s what we learned:

Southeast

Tish Llaneza, Countryside Gardens, Hampton, VA: A lot of rain here in Tidewater, Va. Surprisingly sales are up a lot at Countryside Gardens. March and April’s weather pattern were reversed and it rained the last four days before Mother’s Day, but I spent they last two days directing traffic in the parking lot to get as many cars “parked properly.”

Theresa Riley, Rockledge Gardens, Rockledge, FL: Our spring has been pretty wonderful. We have pretty perfect weather. Though it got extra warm for a few weeks, people still came. And this past week was picture perfect. We know that the brakes will come on as soon as the hot weather is here to stay, but so far sales are up about 7% on sales over last year.

West Coast

Michael Ludeman, Tumalo Garden Market, Tumalo, OR: We have had a great spring, business is booming, and all the trees that should bloom with flowers are.

Midwest and Canada

Will Heeman, Heeman’s Garden Centre, London, ON: So far we’re seeing that the people who are coming out are spending more and seem very excited for the gardening season. BUT the cool weather has seen less people, especially leading up to Mother’s Day. Still positive for the season, but we’re in a bit of a hole compared to the last couple years (which were all banner years).

Nola Wagner, Wagners Greenhouses, Minneapolis: It’s been good here in Minneapolis, with good weather and an early spring. We are rushing to meet the demand of gardeners who are anxious to get their spring planting started. Even so, we still recommend not to plant tomatoes until May 20, but these gardeners are just so anxious! Oh well, more power to them! We love them all!

Rick Vuyst, Flowerland, Grand Rapids, MI: It’s been a roller coaster ride. Huge gains in one week, then give it back in the next. Our weather pattern has resulted in inconsistency and wild swings. Mother’s Day weekend was great, even though we’ve had cool and wet weather. Upside? No frost and no frost in the forecast.

Northeast

Maggie Bridge, Sam Bridge Nursery and Greenhouses, Greenwich, CT: So far sales are up for 2016. The dip in the weather has really slowed things down. The week leading up to Mother’s Day was extremely slow, but this past Saturday was packed. Numbers were good, but not great. We are expecting to get slammed the next two weeks — as long as the weather stays nice. Fingers crossed!

Valery Cordrey, East Coast Garden Center, Milsboro, DE: The rains and cool temperatures have really slowed business. Each passing cold and rainy day will make it more and more difficult to catch last years’ numbers. We started with a bang and then the weather changed.

Watch for a follow-up story that gives industry consultant’s insights on this spring!

Leave a Reply

More From Retailing...
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The Landscape Show

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

September 26, 2017

Gardening Industry Not Recovering as Much From Recent Recession as in Past

In his latest blog posting, garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin says changing consumer demographics mean that, unlike past indicators, the garden business hasn’t surged after a recession — and it’s not going to under the current model.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Latest Stories
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The …

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

September 26, 2017

Gardening Industry Not Recovering as Much From Recent R…

In his latest blog posting, garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin says changing consumer demographics mean that, unlike past indicators, the garden business hasn’t surged after a recession — and it’s not going to under the current model.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Trends Slide - No Logo

September 12, 2017

Garden Media Group’s 2018 Trends Report Highlights Natu…

This year’s Garden Trends report offers seven trends that you can use to inspire mental wellness. Take a look to see how many trends you’re already using to connect with your customers.

Read More
GCA Bathroom Winner Wingards Market 1

September 8, 2017

Garden Centers of America Announces Best Bathroom Award…

If you’re a grower-retailer, your restroom may end up being the most important part of your customers’ experience. Find out the big winners of this year’s Garden Centers of America’s Best Bathroom Awards.

Read More

August 29, 2017

7 Popular Retail Trends from the 2017 IGC Show

Almost every type of retail garden product imaginable filled the booths on the tradeshow floor at the 2017 IGC Show held in August in Chicago, from pots and containers to garden tools, patio furniture, and decorative items. Here are seven gardening and product trends that stood out at the show.

Read More

August 21, 2017

50 Cool Products on Display at the 2017 IGC Show

Check out these cool products vendors showed off at the 2017 IGC Show on the Navy Pier in Chicago, August 15-17.

Read More
griffin-expo

August 15, 2017

Griffin Becomes Newest Distributor for Master Nursery G…

The agreement allows Griffin to join Master Nursery’s network of more than 150 supplier partners, while giving Master Nursery access to new product and service options for member businesses in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

Read More
Decorative Premium Hanging Baskets (Ainong USA)

July 25, 2017

16 Products That Garden Retailers Loved at Cultivate’17

In what has become an annual tradition at Cultivate, a team of garden retailers presented awards for their picks as the best new products (both live goods and hard goods) from Cultivate’17.

Read More

July 11, 2017

Grower-Retailers Invited to Help Pick Their Favorite Pr…

The Garden Center Group is inviting grower-retailers to join them on their quest to highlight the best new retail products on display at Cultivate’17.

Read More
Hort Couture Farm to Table Display

July 7, 2017

New Marketing and Retail Display Ideas to Boost Your P…

Innovative marketing displays and retail concepts at California Spring Trials 2017, inspired by popular consumer trends and the need to encourage consumer success, overflowed with exciting new ways to promote plants.

Read More

June 19, 2017

IGC Show Features Talks on How to Cash in on the Buy Lo…

This year’s event, which takes place Aug. 15-17 in Chicago, also includes a free workshop on what you might do when starting your business over from scratch.

Read More
Robert O'Neill

May 11, 2017

Former SEAL Team Six Leader to Address Attendees at IGC…

Robert O’Neill is a highly decorated combat veterans and the author of the just-published memoir, “The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.”

Read More

April 24, 2017

Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Pr…

In March, Baldwin wrote a blog advising grower-retailers to consider raising their prices this spring. The post inspired a number of creative suggestions.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

March 31, 2017

Ian Baldwin: Aim High With Your Pricing This Spring

In his latest blog posting, the garden retail consultant says consumers are spending more today, which means it’s a good time to consider raising your prices.

Read More
GCA Summer Tour 2017 Andersons Newport Beach

March 23, 2017

Garden Centers of America Unveils Stops on Its Summer T…

Registration for the event, which includes visits to several garden centers each with their own unique highlights, is now open.

Read More
MSU Guide To Attracting Pollinators

March 9, 2017

New Guide on Bee-Friendly Plants Available From Horticu…

The guide is designed to help grower-retailers educate and motivate their customers to purchase and plant pollinator-friendly materials.

Read More
Grapevine Balls, Glass House, and Galvanized Dish Gardens (Flori-Design, Inc.)

March 6, 2017

Cool Product Awards from Garden Retailers Announced at …

This year’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) once again served as a great spot for the Cool Product Awards, an annual collaboration between TPIE, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, and The Garden Center Group.

Read More